|Publication number||US6060387 A|
|Application number||US 08/574,557|
|Publication date||May 9, 2000|
|Filing date||Nov 20, 1995|
|Priority date||Nov 20, 1995|
|Publication number||08574557, 574557, US 6060387 A, US 6060387A, US-A-6060387, US6060387 A, US6060387A|
|Inventors||Adam Shepela, Gregory J. Grula, Bjorn Zetterlund|
|Original Assignee||Compaq Computer Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (47), Classifications (16), Legal Events (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention relates generally to design and fabrication of integrated circuits, and specifically to a process for forming silicide layers of different thicknesses over the source drain areas and the poly-silicon gate interconnect areas in an integrated circuit.
In order to increase the gate density and operating speed of integrated circuits, the feature size of transistors within the circuit must decrease. In conventional fabrication processes the creation of source/drain regions by diffusion results in some amount of lateral diffusion beneath the gate region. The amount of lateral diffusion under the gate area can be limited to some extent by use of oxide spacers. However the lateral diffusion must also generally be limited by controlling the depth of the source/drain regions. Thus typically the smaller feature size used to provide higher densities and speeds in integrated circuits requires increasingly shallow source/drain regions.
A further requirement in integrated circuit production is creation of good ohmic contacts on the source/drain regions. This may be accomplished through formation of a silicide layer on the source/drain region surfaces. In addition, the sheet resistance of the gate interconnect surfaces must be lowered to reduce RC delay across the transistor gate in high frequency circuits. This also is accomplished by formation of a silicide layer over the top surface of the gate interconnects.
Existing processes meet the above requirements through a deposition-formation step in which a single silicide layer, having a uniform thickness, is simultaneously formed on both the surfaces of the source/drain regions and the top surface of the gate interconnects. During this process, some amount of silicide forms downward and laterally through the source/drain regions. Where these source/drain regions are very shallow, and the silicide thickness is sufficiently large, the silicide may penetrate substantially or completely through the source/drain regions. Substantial penetration may result in excessive junction leakage during operation causing the device to fail.
In order to limit such junction leakage, the amount of metal deposited to form the silicide layer may be reduced, consequently reducing the amount of silicide formed. However such thinner silicide may be inadequate to meet the sheet resistance requirements of the gate interconnects. Such high sheet resistance will increase RC delay across the transistor gate thereby reducing high frequency circuit performance.
Thus it is seen that existing processes are ineffective in providing the appropriate thicknesses of silicide over both the source/drain region and gate interconnect surfaces. Therefore, a new integrated circuit fabrication process is required which allows for a sufficiently thick silicide layer over the gate interconnect areas without requiring an excessively thick silicide over the source/drain regions.
In accordance with principles of the invention there is disclosed a new process for creating a transistor in an integrated circuit. In the disclosed process a gate interconnect and source and drain regions are formed. A first silicide layer is provided on a surface of the source and drain regions. A layer of gap filling material having a thickness greater than the height of the gate interconnect is deposited. The gap filling material is planarized down to expose a top surface of the gate interconnect. A second relatively thick silicide layer is provided on the top surface of the gate interconnect. In a first example embodiment of the invention a near-planar isolation process is used such that the gate interconnect surfaces are formed having top surfaces that are substantially co-planar.
The disclosed process provides a sufficiently low resistance silicide layer over the source/drain regions while also creating a lower resistance, relatively thicker silicide over the gate interconnect material. The disclosed process provides sufficiently low sheet resistance in the gate interconnect without causing silicide to penetrate substantially or completely through the source/drain regions.
The foregoing features and other aspects of the invention will now become apparent when the accompanying description is read in conjunction with the following drawings in which:
FIG. 1 shows a cross section view of a transistor during fabrication having a gate interconnect and other regions;
FIG. 2 shows the cross section view of the transistor including a first silicide forming metal layer;
FIG. 3 shows the transistor cross section including a first silicide layer;
FIG. 4 shows the transistor cross section having a layer of dielectric gap fill material;
FIG. 5 shows the transistor cross section following planarization of the gap fill material down to the top surface of the gate interconnect;
FIG. 6 shows a transistor cross section including a second silicide forming metal layer; and
FIG. 7 shows a transistor cross section including a second silicide.
FIG. 1 shows a cross section view of a transistor in the process of fabrication having a patterned gate interconnect 1 and other regions. Example gate interconnect materials include polysilicon or amorphous silicon. The transistor in FIG. 1 further includes source/drain regions 4 (for example n+type silicon), a substrate 11 (of an opposite type, for example p-type silicon), spacers 2 (of for example silicon dioxide or silicon nitride), gate oxide 3, and field isolation regions 5. For purposes of example the gate interconnect 1 has a thickness of between 3500 and 2200 Angstroms, the spacers 2 have a width of between 800 and 1200 Angstroms, the gate oxide 3 has a thickness between 65 and 97 Angstroms, the source/drain regions 4 have a thickness of between 0.20 and 0.15 microns, and the field isolation regions 5 have a thickness of between 3300 and 3900 Angstroms. Thus FIG. 1 shows a transistor during fabrication at a point in the process where the source/drain regions have been formed and the surfaces of the source drain regions as well as the gate interconnect surfaces are oxide free.
FIG. 2 shows a cross section of the transistor of FIG. 1 having a silicide forming metal layer 6 deposited over the surfaces as shown in FIG. 1. The deposition of the metal layer 6 shown in FIG. 2 may be accomplished for example through a sputtering technique. Other deposition methods which provide for application of a metal layer having a controlled thickness may be used, including metal organic chemical vapor deposition, evaporation, or electroplating. The silicide forming metal may be, for example palladium (Pd), platinum (Pt), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), titanium (Ti) or tungsten (W). For purposes of example, the metal layer 6 is a layer of cobalt having thickness of 120-200 Angstroms including a capping layer of titanium nitride having a thickness of 80 Angstroms. The metal layer 6 is deposited over the entire wafer surface and silicide is formed where the source/drain regions and gate interconnect surfaces are oxide free as shown in FIG. 1.
The structure shown in FIG. 2 is heated in an inert ambient. In an example embodiment, the device of FIG. 2 is heated in a rapid thermal annealing chamber at 440 degrees Centigrade for 90 seconds in a nitrogen ambient. The unreacted metal over the oxide surfaces 5 and 2 is removed in an acid solution which does not attack the silicide layer. For example a selective wet chemical etch is first used to remove only the TiN capping layer and the unreacted cobalt. The example etchant is a solution of nitric acid, acetic acid, phosphoric acid and hydrogen peroxide. Further in the example embodiment a second rapid thermal anneal at 700 degrees Centigrade for 60 seconds in nitrogen is next performed in order to transform the resulting silicide layer (element 7 shown in FIG. 3) from cobalt silicide (CoSi) to cobalt disilicide (CoSi2) in order to further reduce the resistance of the resulting silicide layer.
FIG. 3 shows the transistor cross section having a first silicide layer 7 formed on the top surface of the gate interconnect and source/drain regions. The thickness of the resulting cobalt silicide layer 7 in the example embodiment is between 400 and 700 Angstroms.
A gap fill material, for example a dielectric material such as silicon dioxide, which may be doped with a few weight percent of phosphorous, is deposited over the top surface of the structure as shown in FIG. 4. FIG. 4 shows a gap fill layer 8, deposited over all surfaces of the structure. An example thickness of the gap fill layer 8 is 5000 to 7000 Angstroms. The gap fill layer 8 may be formed for example using a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition.
A planar surface is formed by removing the gap fill layer 8 down to the top surface of the gate interconnect 1. In an example embodiment chemical-mechanical polishing is used to create a planar surface in which the top surface of the gate interconnect is exposed. The result of the chemical-mechanical polishing is a planar surface 8a shown in FIG. 5, including the exposed top surface of the gate interconnect 1. FIG. 5 shows the gap fill layer 8, polished to expose the gate interconnect 1 top surface.
A second silicide-forming metal film such as palladium (Pd), platinum (Pt), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), tungsten (W) or titanium (Ti) is deposited over the planar surface 8a of the structure using for example sputter deposition, evaporation deposition, electroplating or electroless deposition. FIG. 6 shows a silicide-forming metal layer 9, deposited over the planer surface 8a. For example the silicide-forming metal layer 9 is cobalt having a thickness of between 200and 350 Angstroms. Further in the example embodiment of FIG. 6, a capping layer of titanium nitride film 9a, having an example thickness of approximately 80 Angstroms, is deposited over the silicide-forming metal layer 9. The thickness of the silicide forming metal layer 9 is selected to provide a suricide layer of sufficient thickness to lower the sheet resistance of the gate interconnects to an acceptable sheet resistance, for example between 2 and 8 ohms per square unit.
The structure is heated in an inert ambient causing silicide to form selectively on the top surface of the gate interconnect. In an example embodiment the device is heated in a rapid thermal annealing chamber at 440 degrees Centigrade for 90 seconds in a nitrogen ambient. The unreacted metal over the gap fill material is removed in an acid solution that does not attack the silicide. For example a selective wet chemical etch is first used to remove the TiN capping layer and the unreacted cobalt. An example etchant is a solution of nitric acid, acetic acid, phosphoric acid and hydrogen peroxide. Further in the example embodiment a second rapid thermal anneal at 700 degrees Centigrade for 60 seconds in nitrogen is performed in order to transform the resulting silicide layer (element 10 shown in FIG. 7) from cobalt silicide (CoSi) to cobalt disilicide (CoSi2) in order to further reduce the sheet resistance of the resulting silicide layer.
FIG. 7 shows the relatively thick silicide layer 10 formed only on the exposed top surface of the gate interconnect 1. In the example embodiment of FIG. 7 the silicide layer 10 has a thickness of between 700 and 1225 Angstroms. Conventional methods are used to complete fabrication of the transistor and the entire integrated circuit. In this way, the process of the invention achieves both low leakage transistor junctions with a thin silicide layer to provide a good ohmic contact, as well as a sufficiently low sheet resistance silicided gate interconnect.
Through the above steps the invention provides a silicide on the source/drain region surfaces that is sufficiently thin such that the silicide interface does not excessively penetrate the source/drain regions and result in excessive junction leakage or shorts. The invention simultaneously provides a silicide on the top surface of the gate interconnect having sufficient thickness to produce acceptable sheet resistance for the gate interconnect.
While the present invention has been described in conjunction with its preferred embodiments, this description is not intended in a limiting sense. It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the disclosed invention is generally applicable to the area of transistor fabrication in a variety of specific implementations or embodiments.
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|U.S. Classification||438/630, 438/664, 438/685, 438/651, 257/E21.439, 438/655, 438/721, 438/691, 438/626, 438/648, 438/682, 438/631, 438/649|
|Nov 20, 1995||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SHEPELA, ADAM;ZETTERLUND, BJORN K.A.;GRULA, GREGORY J.;REEL/FRAME:007841/0446;SIGNING DATES FROM 19951106 TO 19951116
|Mar 20, 2001||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Jan 9, 2002||AS||Assignment|
|Oct 15, 2003||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Nov 3, 2003||AS||Assignment|
|Nov 9, 2007||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Dec 19, 2011||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|May 9, 2012||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Jun 26, 2012||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20120509